Grit&Thomas – “Every day there is something new to see and experience”

By bicycle. By boat and kayak. Skiing. By foot.

The couple Grit and Thomas Martin have been discovering and experiencing Arjeplog for over twenty years and are not done yet.

“We will probably never be done, every day there is something new to see and experience”, says Grit.

When Thomas completed his dentist’s training, the couple, who lived in Dresden at the time, started looking for a place to live. Pretty soon, Arjeplog caught their eye.

“We didn’t have a lot of requirements. It had to be somewhere small, with mountains, waters, snow and a road to Norway. We found all of that here. Also, they had a vacancy for a dentist”, says Thomas.

They made their first visit to Arjeplog in December.

“We were at the clinic all day, and then they tried to show us the town, in darkness”, Grit remembers with a smile.

Thomas Martin was offered the position as dentist, and Grit, who had training and a couple of years’ experience as a dental nurse, was also offered a job. In January, they made the move from Germany. “We knew quite quickly that we would be staying here. And we were incredibly well received at work, we hardly had time to say what we wanted or needed, before our colleagues had it sorted out.”

As the days grew brighter and warmer, Thomas and Grit began to discover and experience more and more of the municipality.

“We have cycled almost all the dirt roads in the area. We have hiked and skied on all the mountain peaks that have been part of the Top of Arjeplog event, both summer and winter. Plus several other peaks,” says Thomas.

The desire to see, discover and experience the outdoors has brought them to places visited by few others.  One of their goals is to visit all the border markings on the border to Norway, within the municipality.

“We have been working on this for three years, and we will need at least one more year to reach the goal. These are long and somewhat taxing excursions, last summer we walked seventy kilometres in two days”, says Thomas.

“But it’s nice, the border markings are not at summits. So, they take us to areas we have never visited before”, Grit adds.

The longer hikes, of course, require both planning, time and suitable weather. As well as experience, which they have built up over the years. And the hikes shape memories for a lifetime.

“We have seen so much beauty, it cannot be put into words”, says Grit.

Thomas and Grit also emphasise the importance of discovering their immediate surroundings, preferably together with their children. Their three sons have been with them through thick and thin, often bringing friends along.

“Everything you need for a nice family outing can be found nearby, and we often do trips after work and school.” Take the Vauka trail for example. You can walk it all year round, it never looks the same. We can also hike to Vuordnátj, Veälbmábuovđđa or Áhkális”, says Grit.

Picking a favourite season is difficult for Thomas and Grit.

“We want all the seasons!” “During the very darkest and coldest days, it’s nice to lie on the sofa, and we can also use those days to plan future hikes”, says Thomas.

Text: Marianne Hoffman. Picture: Private